Skeleton found at Hadrian's Wall could reveal more about life in Roman Britain

A human skeleton from the Roman period was among the discoveries made in an archaeological excavation at Hadrian's Wall. Credit: The Vindolanda Trust

Archaeologists say a human skeleton found at Hadrian's Wall could reveal significant information about the site in the late Roman period.

The skeleton was among the discoveries made during an archaeological excavation at Milecastle 46, in Northumberland.

Other finds include a rare dual balance beam and a well.

The dig is part of a five-year research project funded by a £1.625m grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and has been supported by archaeologists from around the world.

The grave was found between the east wall of the milecastle and Hadrian’s Wall and contained the remains of a single individual who appears to have been wrapped in a shroud before burial.

Archaeologists unearth the skeleton. Credit: The Vindolanda Trust

The details suggest the person was buried deliberately and with care while the milecastle walls were still standing.

It is hoped the discovery will allow historians to learn more about the late Roman period.

Rachel Frame, senior archaeologist at the site said: “Burials at Hadrian’s Wall itself are rare, with only a handful of other examples known from sites along the wall.

"The discovery of this person has the potential to give us significant information about life at this site in the late Roman period. The skeleton was fragmentary but crucially we have some of the teeth. They will enable us to find out more about this mystery individual, including information about their diet, lifestyle and origin.”

Research will continue over the winter before excavations resume in April 2024.

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